CAPE ELIZABETH — When Cape Elizabeth took the opening kickoff and drove right down the field, it must have looked like business as usual for Yarmouth High.

Another slow start for the Clippers?

No. Yarmouth immediately answered with a touchdown drive of its own and went on to beat Cape Elizabeth 14-12 at Hannaford Field in a Western Class C football quarterfinal.

Fifth-seeded Yarmouth (6-3) moves on to play next weekend at No. 1 Leavitt (8-1). No. 4 Cape Elizabeth is done at 6-3.

Yarmouth grabbed three interceptions, including two by Arthur Chee – one of which set up the winning touchdown.

Cape Elizabeth’s Nate Weare ran 25 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns.

Extra points were the key. Cape Elizabeth’s attempt after its first touchdown was blocked.

In the fourth quarter, when the Capers scored to close to within 14-12, their conversion pass fell incomplete.

Cape Elizabeth got the ball one more time, starting from its 15, and drove to the 48 before an incompletion on fourth-and-4 with 2:03 left.

Yarmouth ran out the clock, using its three tough-running backs, Cody Cook (65 yards), Lucas Uhl (47) and Jack Snyder (25). Soon, the Clippers were celebrating in the end zone.

Yarmouth lost a heartbreaker to the Capers during the regular season, falling 31-28 on a last-play field goal after rallying from a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

“We’ve come out slow the whole year,” said Cook, a junior captain. “We really focused on coming out fired up.”

Now the Clippers will try to avenge another defeat. Yarmouth lost 20-12 at Leavitt in the second game of the year.

“We’ve played the top teams tough all year,” Yarmouth Coach Jason Veilleux said. “We knew we could do it (beat Cape Elizabeth). We had to play our style – physical play, using our speed on the outside.”

Cape Elizabeth looked physical on its opening 15-play, eight-minute drive. Weare scored from the 1, but a swarm of Clippers broke through and blocked the extra point try.

Yarmouth came right back, using its three backs and quarterback John Thoma (6 of 13 passing for 91 yards). Uhl scored from the 3 and Andrew Beatty hit his first of two conversion kicks for a 7-6 lead.

The next series was devastating for the Capers. Halfback Jack Drinan, who rushed for 28 yards on the opening drive, was knocked out of the game with a knee injury.

Two plays later, Chee made an interception and took off. His 60-yard return, plus a personal foul penalty on Cape Elizabeth, gave Yarmouth the ball at the 13-yard line. After a run for a loss, Thoma found Snyder between two defenders for an 18-yard touchdown pass and a 14-6 lead with 8:16 left in the half.

The Capers were limited without Drinan and relied heavily on Weare.

“The guys responded well and fought to the end,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Aron Filieo said. “A couple plays here and there …”

Cape Elizabeth drove 64 yards and Weare score a 1-yard run with 10:39 left. But when the conversion pass failed, the Capers needed another score.

Yarmouth ate up five minutes on a drive that ended with an unsuccessful fake field goal. The Capers had one more chance, but Yarmouth focused heavily on Weare and stopped them.

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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